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Little Free Libraries

Cindy Burnett
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  • Little Free Library

    On February 9th, everyone involved in the Little Free Library creation gathered to unveil it and formally open it for business.

  • Jennie Elizabeth Hughes' Home

    The original home built by Jennie Elizabeth Hughes in 1930.

  • New Little Free Library

    The new Little Free Library at Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park commissioned by Brownie Troop 146153.

  • Little Free Library
  • Jennie Elizabeth Hughes' Home
  • New Little Free Library

Little Free Libraries (LFLs) are small libraries that seek to promote literacy and encourage reading. People can drop books they are finished with and grab something new to read – it is an easy way to do a book exchange. The program has a fabulous website with details about some of the more than 100,000 that are registered around the world (including one at Antarctica. There are now Little Free Libraries on all seven continents).

Houston author Chris Cander proposed the initiative to the West University City Parks and Recreation Department in 2015 and launched the city’s first Little Free Library at Colonial Park. Several years ago, a second one opened at the Scout House on Edloe. Recently, the city’s third LFL opened at Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park, located at 6446 Sewanee. 

When Jim Hughes died in 2016, he bequeathed the property to the city with funds to create a quiet park in his mother’s honor, what is now the Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Brownie troop 146153 decided to place a Little Free Library at the park and worked with builder David Crow (who donated his time) to design the library as a replica of the home that Jennie Elizabeth Hughes built in 1930 on the property. The library is a great addition to the park promoting the quiet and peaceful nature of it – select a book and read in a quiet, peaceful setting.

The Brownie troop will be the steward of the Little Free Library by making sure there are always books there and keeping the library itself maintained. In February, the troop set up an unveiling of the beautiful new Little Free Library, and it is now open for business. Susan Sample and Anne Marie Thompson are the troop’s leaders and members include Sofia Thompson, Caroline Cozart, Caroline Larsson, Ellie Egan, Ellie Payne, Emmy Grace Benitez, Kelsey Yip, Lila Cooley, Paige Berry, Sona Raghavan, Sophie Burrow, Stella Grewal, Zara Alousi and Zareena Rehman.

While there are three registered LFLs in West University, there are numerous others in the area that function in the same way – drop a book and grab a book. If you are wanting to find something new to read, this is a great way to do so. I regularly drop books I have finished or duplicates that I have received at the various ones in our area. I love to see what others have left and sometimes find a new book to read myself.

If you are interested in creating your own, check out the Little Free Library website for in-depth instructions and guidance. And let me know because I am happy to help contribute books to get it started!

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

Editor's note: Read more about Little Free Libraries in Buzz neighborhoods in this feature article and our Buzz About Town column.

Little Free Library

On February 9th, everyone involved in the Little Free Library creation gathered to unveil it and formally open it for business.

Jennie Elizabeth Hughes' Home

The original home built by Jennie Elizabeth Hughes in 1930.

New Little Free Library

The new Little Free Library at Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park commissioned by Brownie Troop 146153.

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